On 1 July 2012 the Mackay Hospital and Health Service (HHS) commenced operation as an independent statutory body overseen by the Mackay Hospital and Health Board (Mackay HHB).
The Mackay HHB sets the strategic direction and oversees the management of the Mackay HHS. This provides an opportunity to have enhanced local decision making and accountability for the delivery of local health services.
On 22 November 2022, the Governor-in-Council dismissed the Mackay HHB following the recommendation of the Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services and appointed an Administrator Karen Roach for the Mackay HHS.
Karen Roach – Mackay HHS Administrator
Karen trained as a nurse and midwife, and is a graduate from the Business School, Central Queensland University. At the completion of 2011, Karen returned to Queensland from New Zealand, where she was Chief Executive of Northland District Health Board for five years.
During her time in New Zealand, Karen took on the national roles of lead CE of the Employee Relations Portfolio, leading the industrial relations strategy on behalf of the 20 District Health Boards, and Chair of the MOU which was the sector relationship committee working with the RDA (Union representing the resident medical officer workforce). Karen was a foundation member of the Board of Health Workforce New Zealand, reporting to the Minister for Health on workforce development in the sector.
Previous to her role in New Zealand, Karen held the senior leadership roles of Southern Zone in Queensland Health, Rockhampton and Toowoomba health services. As well as leading health services, Karen was also required to work with her intersectoral colleagues across government to ensure safe and effective government services to local communities.
Upon her return to Queensland, Karen has consulted to the Department of Health, provided locum services to Townsville HHS, Sunshine Coast HHS, Metro North and Metro South HHS and consulted to the Ministry of Health in New South Wales. Karen was also a member of the Mater Clinical Safety and Excellence Committee from 2016-2019.
Currently Karen is a consultant working across the sector in Queensland. This has included the role of Special Advisor to the North West Hospital and Health Board, appointed by the Minister for Health in 2020.
Dr Herkes – Special Clinical Advisor to Mackay HHS Administrator
Dr Robert Herkes was appointed by the Minister for Health and Ambulance Services as a special clinical advisor to the Mackay Hospital and Health Board on 22 September 2022, to oversee clinical governance improvements. Following the dismissal of the Board, he is continuing as a special clinical advisor to the Mackay HHS Administrator.
Dr Herkes is a highly respected senior clinician and leader in intensive care medicine, with extensive operating and leadership experience in the development, evolution and provision of critical care services at both state and national levels. He currently serves as the Chief Medical Officer for Ramsay Health Care Australia.
Prior to commencing in this role, Dr Herkes was the Chief Medical Officer at the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, providing expert clinical advice to the wide range of programs managed by the Commission. Dr Herkes had a significant role in identifying areas for synergies, partnerships and new opportunities across the Australian health sector in collaboration with all health sector stakeholders, and providing leadership and education around the latest evidence on safety and quality in health care. Dr Herkes has also held positions as the Director of Intensive Care at both the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Strathfield Private Hospital.
Having worked clinically in both public and private hospitals, as well as contributing to national committees in jurisdictional and Commonwealth roles, Dr Herkes has a broad understanding of the Australian health care sector. He is committed to the improvement of health care from an organisational level to individual patient treatment and safety.
Dr Herkes, who completed his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery at the University of Sydney, is driven to improve the delivery of health care to ensure it is evidence based, effective and efficient.